Cast your mind back to the early days of the pandemic, when our initial experience of COVID-19 wasn’t the virus itself, but the associated panic buying of food and hysteria induced by snap lockdowns and immense uncertainty.
Panic buying was a privilege afforded by those with the resources to stockpile for themselves or to purchase expensive alternatives. But at what cost to others?
The point of rehashing over our collective memories isn’t to try and solve the mystery of the missing meat and cheese (shout out #toiletpapergate) but to instead cast a spotlight on the resulting surge in food insecurity experienced by young Aussies.
Serving up facts on food relief
Gen Z’s and Millennials are doing it tough as a result of COVID-19, with many having lost or reduced their source of income.
As a result, the Food Bank Hunger Report found they are experiencing food insecurity more often than any other generation with 65% of food insecure Gen Zs going hungry at least once a week compared to 25% of Baby Boomers (Foodbank, 2020).
Despite initial government income assistance, many are not receiving the help they need.
Of those seeking support, 37% needing additional assistance, 21% are ineligible and 4% find it too difficult to apply.
With rolling lockdowns and inconsistent income assistance, charities are struggling to respond to the volatility of demand for food relief.
To help ease the pressure on charities, these 3 apps are making it easy for you to help those in need get a meal.
Pay it forward with Y Waste
By partnering with a food relief organisation, Foodbank, Y Waste is bringing the people to the food! The platform targets end-of-day-unsold food (70% of total excess food), helping to ease the pressure on charity redistribution resources.
What it does: Users can use the app to either purchase a meal for themselves or sponsor a meal for someone else by donating to a participating food retailer.
How it works:
- Food outlets using the app post a notice that a discounted meal is available.
- Users of the app can purchase the meal at a discounted price or a charity can provide a special code to someone who needs food assistance to purchase the meal.
- The person in need collects the meal from the store during the time specified by showing the code via the Y Waste app.
- OR If a user has purchased the meal for themselves they can also choose to pay it forward to provide a meal for someone in need.
By paying it forward, participating outlets are also supported. Double win!
Link up your locals with OzHarvest
If you’re outside of the city, the OzHarvest Food app has a digital solution designed to help feed people in need in communities where their yellow vans do not reach.
What it does: The app connects food chains and supermarkets to local charities to tackle the hunger crisis and prevent food waste in regional communities. The app connects local businesses and charities to facilitate donations on a regular and ongoing basis.
How it works
Once a food donor is registered and a charity has been assigned to their store, there are three simple steps:
- The Food Donor enters details of surplus food
- A local charity receives a notification telling them about the food
- The charity collects the food
The app is available to any business, small or large, to help grow OzHarvest’s network of food donors across the country to help support regional and remote food relief.
Connect to the community with OLIO
With many of us becoming VERY familiar with our 5km radius, the pandemic has certainly instilled the importance of checking in with your neighbour.
2021 has been the year of the neighbourhood, so it’s perfect timing that OLIO arrived in Australia.
What it does: OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared. Users can join to share or request food and be notified when there is a match on their listing.
How it works:
Share your spare
- Snap a photo of the food you don’t need and add it to OLIO for your neighbours to collect free of charge.
To request items
- Browse the listings available near you, request whatever takes your fancy and arrange a pick-up via private messaging.
If you’re unsure about swapping food with strangers, then OLIO can help make things a little more personal.
So there you go, 3 apps for you to help feed someone in need, quicker than you can heat up your leftovers.